Wheelie bad news as Vinales picks up Catalunya MotoGP grid penalty

Maverick Vinales (AP)
Maverick Vinales (AP)

Montmeló - Maverick Vinales' decision to carry out a series of extravagant wheelies at the end of qualifying for the Catalunya Grand Prix backfired when he was handed a three-place grid penalty for Sunday's race.

Yamaha rider Vinales had finished third in qualifying behind pole-sitter Fabio Quartararo and world champion Marc Marquez but was penalised for impeding the French rider.

"Honestly, I don't know what to say," said Vinales after being relegated to sixth place on the grid.

"I thought I saw the chequered flag and I began to salute the crowd by doing 'wheelies'. I didn't see Fabio until too late, I didn't expect him."

Despite being unintentional and offering his apologies, the race stewards felt that Vinales was riding "irresponsibly, at slow speed on the track and impeding another rider".

Leading grid positions for Sunday's Catalunya Grand Prix after qualifying at Montmelo on Saturday:

MotoGP

Front row

1. Fabio Quartararo (FRA/Yamaha-SRT), 2. Marc Marquez (ESP/Honda), 3. Franco Morbidelli (ITA/Yamaha-SRT)

2nd row

4. Valentino Rossi (ITA/Yamaha), 5. Andrea Dovizioso (ITA/Ducati), 6. Maverick Vinales (ESP/Yamaha) 

3rd row

7. Danilo Petrucci (ITA/Ducati), 8. Alex Rins (ESP/Suzuki), 9. Cal Crutchlow (GBR/Honda-LCR)

4th row

10. Jorge Lorenzo (ESP/Honda), 11. Joan Mir (ESP/Suzuki), 12. Pol Espargaro (ESP/KTM)

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